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Tempura Soba Close up

Classic Tempura Soba Noodles (天ぷらそば)

  • Author: Yuto Omura
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 portions 1x


Classic Tempura Soba, buckwheat noodles in a hot broth served with light crunchy tempura.




Tempura Batter

  • 100g Weak Flour
  • 2 tbsp Mayonnaise (preferably Japanese mayo)
  • 140ml Refrigerated Sparkling Water
  • Oil for deep frying

To Fry

  • 8 Tiger Prawns (or similar large prawns)
  • 1 Aubergine (Or vegetables of your choice. Bell peppers, renkon, carrot etc.)
  • 4 Shiso Leaf (optional)




  1. Put 1000ml of cold water into a large pot and add 7g of dry kombu.
  2. Bring the water and kombu to the boil on a medium heat.
  3. Once it's boiling, remove the kombu and lower the heat to simmer.
  4. Add 30g of katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and simmer for 5 minutes.
  5. Next, remove the bonito flakes. (You can use a strainer and then return the broth to the pot, or use a slotted spoon to scoop out the bonito flakes.)
  6. Add 80ml soy sauce, 50ml of mirin and turn up the heat to medium. Bring to the boil once more and then lower to simmer.

Prepping the Prawns

  1. First, deshell your prawns leaving the tail on, and remove the veins.
  2. Put the prawns in a bowl with 2 pinches of salt and a tsp of corn starch and rub it over the surface of the prawns. The salt is to dehydrate them so they fry better and the corn starch helps clean them out.
  3. After a few minutes run the prawns under cold running water to rinse off the salt and corn starch, you will notice how clean they look!
  4. Dry them off with kitchen paper and transfer them to your chopping board.
  5. Next we are going to cut the tails. Place the shrimp on its side and with the tail folded in half and trim it diagonally. The pointy tip should be cut off and be the shorter part of the diagonal. (This stops oil from splattering out when it's frying and it looks nicer too!)
  6. Turn the prawn so the underbelly is facing up, and make diagonal incisions along the whole body. The incisions should be about 1cm apart and go about 1/2 way through the prawn.
  7. You should be able to lay out the prawn flat and straight.
  8. Repeat for the rest of your prawns.


  1. Heat up your oil to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) in a pot or pan that is deep enough to cover the prawns.
  2. Cut your aubergine into long slices.
  3. In a bowl, pour in 140ml of cold sparkling water.
  4. Sift in 140g of weak flour and 2 tbsp of mayonnaise.
  5. Mix until lightly combined, it's okay if there's still some lumps of flour in the batter.
  6. Add a tiny drop of the batter to the oil, if it sizzles and floats at the top then it's ready to cook.
  7. Coat your prawns, aubergine and shiso leaves in the batter and then carefully place them into the pot.
  8. Have a wire rack at the ready, with something to catch excess oil underneath. You can place your tempura on here while you wait for the others to fry. (You can also put your batter back in the fridge to keep it cold between batches)
  9. Be careful not to overcrowd the pot. Put a few items in at a time and transfer them to a wire rack as they're finished. The batter should be puffed out and crispy, take them out before they become golden.


  1. Boil your soba noodles in a separate pot, follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Once cooked, run them under cold water and divide them into serving bowls.
  3. Pour the broth over the top of the noodles.
  4. Place the tempura on top of the noodles and then garnish with spring onions.
  5. For an added kick, sprinkle with Japanese shichimi powder.
  6. Enjoy!


Be careful not to let the tempura turn golden, real tempura is very light in color.

For specific tips on how to make crispy tempura, check the post above.

  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Category: Noodles
  • Method: Boil and Deep Fry
  • Cuisine: Japanese

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